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Desmond and Brubeck: Alone and Together
November 6, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Long-time friends and collaborators Colleen Allen and Mark Ferguson join forces with Lauren Falls and Anthony Michelli to celebrate the music and artistry of alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and pianist Dave Brubeck. They’ll perform music that these two legends made famous on their own as well as some of the music they performed collaboratively. For this across-the-Internet performance, Mark will be in Ottawa, and Colleen (a former Ottawaian), Lauren and Anthony will be at their respective homes in Toronto.
About the musicians
Colleen Allen is one of Canada’s most in-demand musicians for live concerts and recording sessions. Based in Toronto, the acclaimed and versatile multi-instrumentalist has performed all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe with world class jazz and pop artists including Molly Johnson, David Clayton-Thomas, Holly Cole, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Rik Emmett, Marc Jordan, Andrew Craig and Jackie Richardson, to name a few. Known for her warm, authentic tone and soulful style of soloing, she works frequently with Brian Barlow’s Big Band, Cirque du Soleil, is a resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, and a member of Manteca, Canada’s premier fusion jazz big band. She has been in the house band of the Toronto Blues Society’s Women’s Blues Revue since its inception in 1986. Colleen’s own recordings as a leader draw from her seasoned experience as a musician performing in a variety of genres and situations. Her first CD “Colleen Allen” displays her talents as instrumentalist, arranger, bandleader and producer. Her sophomore release “Flashlight” features bassist George Koller, guitarist Rob Piltch and Snarky Puppy drummer Larnell Lewis. Colleen is a beloved mentor and teacher of music for 15 years now at Humber College and a regular adjudicator/clinician for musicfest, and the TD jazz education festival in Picton.
Mark Ferguson, piano
Mark Ferguson has performed with many of the world’s great artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Gil Evans, Nelson Riddle, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Tom Jones, Rosemary Clooney, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Gino Vanelli, Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass, Holly Cole, Manteca, The Funk Brothers and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Mark is a Faculty Lecturer (jazz, trombone) at McGill University, a Performance Instructor (Jazz Piano/Trombone)/ Sessional Lecturer at Carleton University and is active as a jazz clinician at high schools and universities across Canada.
Lauren Falls, double bass
Lauren Falls has come a long way from the small town of Port Alberni BC and is making a big impact on the New York jazz performance scene playing at venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Jazz Gallery, 55 Bar and Cornelia Street Cafe. Having toured all over North America, Ms Falls has performed at the Kennedy Center and at jazz festivals including The Mary Lous Williams Jazz Festival in Washington DC, Ottawa International Jazz Festival and The Vail Jazz Festival. Ms Falls has been an artist-in-residance at The Betty Carter jazz ahead program, has performed at The Rivinia Steans Institute and was a member of The Sisters in Jazz of the IAJE. Primarily a performer with an unexpectedly strong command of the bass, Ms Falls is also an accomplished composer having performed her original music with her self-titled group extensively in Canada and the US.
Anthony Michelli, drums
Anthony Michelli, the Canadian born and internationally respected professional has fostered a creative and successful career in the music industry as an accomplished drum set performer, post-secondary educator and sound recording engineer and producer. Anthony has recorded and collaborated with innumerable artists in the contemporary jazz, original composition, world, popular and creative music genres spanning from 1995 to the present day with well over one hundred recordings listed in his discography.